How to spot fake and illegal batteries

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A warning about fake and illegal DSLR batteries...



You may not actually be aware, but right now eBay is flooded with fake batteries, or rather the batteries are claim to be genuine, but they are NOT what they appear to be.
Right now there are a lot of companies in the far East who are making so called "compatible" batteries or regrading them as genuine Canon, Nikon etc, and claim they are OEM spec Li-Ion or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
In reality, they are nothing of the sort, they are in fact old technology Ni-cd Cells  badged to look like the latest start of the art batteries. This IS DANGEROUS, if you use the wrong type of battery in your camera or charger, these fakes can overheat to the point where they either melt, or explode.
The clue as always is in the price, If its a lot cheaper than the makers suggested battery IE if Nikon want $79.99 for a  battery, and someone on eBay is offering a genuine/compatible battery for $20.99, ask yourself why?
The reason they are getting away with this is because the average buyer doesn't know the difference, and will probably only ever find out when the battery overheats or explodes, which if you have the item by your eye at the time can be very very dangerous

How can you a s a buyer avoid these fakes?
Start by asking the seller a question, IE  "Where is this battery made?", if they say OEM or Generic or compatible, press them further and ask exactly who makes the battery, if they don't answer move on, find another seller, if they do answer, and give you a recognised brand name, check via Google on the average price for that make and model of battery, if it's significantly cheaper than your research suggests, again move on. Remember though that retail and "street" or eBay prices may differ greatly. What you want to look for is a price that is significantly cheaper that the street price, for a given authentic or genuine battery.

Another nasty trick used by some of these companies is to "dump" illegal mercury batteries onto eBay sellers, batteries containing Mercury have been illegal within the EEC and many  countries for over 5 years.
The reason they are illegal is because Mercury is a deadly cumulative ( this means the body cannot digest it, and with each dose your mercury levels increase) poison.

Again the clue is in the price.

This doesn't mean all batteries are fakes or illegal, and any decent honest seller will happily answer questions about who makes them, and wont be evasive. Indeed some aftermarket or third-party battery makers produce good and alternatives to genuine brand batteries. Some of the safe brands include INCA and Arlec. Be sure to query a seller of the brand should you be interested in an aftermarket brand battery.


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